Black-owned businesses play an undoubtedly important role in the natural hair community.
The vast majority of small, Black-owned hair brands are run and founded by Black women. With that comes not only a comprehension of Afro-textured hair needs, but also an understanding of the mentality and attitude that curly haired women have towards their hair.
As a mixed-race woman, I have a natural level of trust in Black-owned brands that is not always consistent with bigger beauty brands. Not because I don’t believe in the products, but because I question the motivation behind their creation.
The reality is, Black women spend thousands of pounds every year on hair products, meaning the curly hair industry has become a gold-mine for larger companies, hence the influx of new curly hair lines from popular hair care brands.
All that to say this: Black women, who created the natural hair business, who formed the natural hair community, and who have been and still are producing products from their kitchens, should be supported for doing so!
There are now so many amazing Black-owned brands available to us, it can be difficult to choose which ones to support.
To ease your search, I am sharing some of my favourites and the products I always go back to from each one.
Kameese Davis, founder of Nylah’s Naturals (as seen on BBC’s Dragon’s Den), created the brand to fulfil the hair needs of curly haired women of colour.
The brand has an ethos of heritage, hair and science, aiming to celebrate African heritage through the creation of high functioning products that work for highly textured hair.
The combination of innovative plant-based ingredients and advanced technology ensures an enjoyable, healthy-feeling wash day every single week.
Nylah’s Naturals Strength and Shine Thickening Shampoo, £14, and Super Botanicals Restorative Conditioner, £14, Nylah’s Naturals may have been the first products I had ever tried from a Black-owned business, back in 2017/2018. I remember the package arriving at my University accommodation, and just being so ridiculously excited to try them. They did not disappoint and they still live on my shelves today.
The shampoo features the perfect balance of cleansing and moisturising abilities, leaving my hair and scalp clean and hydrated without feeling stripped.
However, for me, the conditioner is the star of the show here. It smells like a fruity tropical rainforest, the slip is amazing and it’s incredibly moisturising. It just does everything you could want!
Bourn Beautiful Naturals
Bourn Beautiful Naturals, named after a Brook in the West Midlands, focuses on solutions-based formulas to maintain an optimal moisture balance for Afro-textured hair and sensitive skin.
Having found no effective treatments for her acne-prone skin, eczema-prone body and dry, curly hair, Kadian Pow set out to create products that provided genuine joy and relief from head to heel. The products she created for herself were then tested and purchased by friends and family, leading to Bourn Beautiful Naturals.
There are three products in particular that I would recommend:
The Leave Me Be Leave in Conditioner: a light, hydrating leave in conditioner, and a great base for further styling.
The Curl Crush Flaxseed and Marshmallow Root Gel: a lightweight, buildable gel, perfect for those who enjoy both strong and light hold gels.
The Hair Too Balm Whipped Butter: a beautiful blend of oils and butters, making it a great product to lock in moisture and add shine to those dull-looking hair days.
Cool product names too, right?
Bourn Beautiful Naturals will also be available to purchase online from Superdrug at the end of this month.
Earth Elixir Haircare
Tayshan Languedoc-Butt, founder of Earth Elixir Haircare, created her plant-based Ayurvedic haircare brand following a flare up of psoriasis and traction alopecia.
Having tested various steroid creams and being told her hair might never grow back, Tayshan decided to formulate her own products using the knowledge she acquired from both her Forensic Science degree and Ayurvedic haircare principles.
The arrival of her baby girl was further motivation to create products she felt confident would be suitable for her hair, while also wanting her daughter to grow up enjoying her curls.
Three of my favourite products from Earth Elixir Haircare are the Ayurvedic Hair Growth Oil, £12.99, the Botanical Hydration Ayurvedic Deep Conditioner, £13.99 and the Botanical Leave in Cream, £8.99, Earth Elixir Haircare.
They were the first Ayurvedic products I had ever tried, and the shower experience definitely hits differently. The scent and the feeling of the products are instantly calming and make wash day far more enjoyable. They force you to relax and lean into your haircare, instead of seeing it as a battle.
If you need to destress and truly unwind from a busy week, I implore you to check out its products.
Mahogany Naturals ltd
Mahogany Naturals is a spa-quality product line created by award winning curly hair stylist, Topè Beesley.
As a certified aromatherapist and facialist, Topè is more than familiar with how ingredients and essential oils impact the skin, scalp and hair, leading her to creating high performing products for textured hair.
The products are created in small batches to ensure the ingredients are kept fresh and potent for optimal performance.
To indulge yourself in even more luxury with Mahogany Naturals, you can book a full salon experience with Topè herself in Milton Keynes. Topè is actually the person responsible for my hair’s shape!
Three of my favourite products from the line are:
The Coconut Water Restorative Hair Mask: completely melts away tangles and revitalises the hair.
The Organic Curl Gel: has the perfect level of hold, providing long-lasting definition.
The Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo: a well-balanced and refreshing cleanser.
Shedid & Parrish
Jessica Parrish’s mission is to ensure all curl types are seen for their natural beauty and are celebrated for their uniqueness.
Jessica was a mixed-race child adopted into a Caucasian family. Finding suitable hair products and services was difficult alongside the absence of curly hair representation in her surroundings.
Over time, she began to experiment more with her hair, and decided to create her own products that would make herself and other curlies feel confident.
Shedid & Parrish products are derived from the best natural ingredients available to keep hair healthy. In many instances, adding scent to products is entirely unnecessary; Shedid & Parrish decided to keep its products simple and effective by making them scent-free.
My favourite products from Shedid and Parrish include:
The Deep Cleansing Shampoo: a clarifying shampoo, perfect for a complete weekly reset.
The Deep Restoring Conditioner: restores moisture, balance and natural shine.
The Curl Styler: a moisturising and defining styling cream, perfect for voluminous, lightweight curls.
As well as shopping the Shedid & Parrish range at its website, you can also find its pop-up stall at John Lewis, Oxford Street between the 24th and 30th October.
I would love to write a 6-page essay on every Black-owned brand I have ever tried, but I would be here for months!
Some additional brands to dive into include: Flora & Curl, Jim and Henry, Big Hair + Beauty, Root 2 Tip Eco, Boucleme, Trepadora Curl Therapy, Primal Beauty, Ivy Wild Hair Care, Curl Flo and Retro Rich Hair and Beauty.